Scam victims in Singapore lost a whopping $633.3 million in 2021 by falling prey to fake calls from friends, e-commerce and internet love-related cons, which are three of the top 10 scams locally.
While most people would think it is impossible for them to get cheated by scams, it cannot be denied that these crime syndicates have been becoming more relentless while evolving their tactics to be more believable in recent years.
It is always better to be safe than sorry, which is why taking precautions to prevent being scammed is important to avoid getting into debt that can ruin your life.
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind, as suggested by the team here at Debt Aid, a debt consultancy in Singapore. Read on to find out more.
1. Block unwanted calls and numbers
The “+” prefix you see in front of incoming calls is an anti-scam measure implemented by telcos in Singapore since 2020 to signify overseas calls spoofing as local calls. Thus, taking note of this and ignoring calls from such numbers is one of the easiest ways to avoid getting scammed, especially if you are not expecting an overseas call. You can also consider blocking these unwanted calls or numbers for added assurance.
2. Talk to someone you trust before making decisions
Two heads are better than one so it is advisable to speak to someone you trust before making any decision, especially when large amounts of money are involved. They will be able to advise you or provide you with an alternative perspective so that you do not make rash decisions and cause yourself to fall prey to scams.
3. Do not give out personal or financial information
Typically, scammers will pressure you to act immediately so that you do not have the time to think things through so if someone on the phone is doing that, it is a telltale sign that this could be a scam. They may also impersonate government officials to get unsuspecting people to reveal personal or financial information which can be used to their advantage. Therefore, always think twice before sharing private information and end the call the minute you suspect something is off.
4. If it is too good to be true, it probably is
Some scammers may also offer irresistible debt solutions that will entice you especially when you are in need of money but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As the saying goes, “There is no such thing as free lunch.” Pay attention to what is being offered and do your research or speak to someone you trust before making a decision.
You may also be asked to transfer a certain amount of money to them that they claim to be for administrative purposes before they loan you a sum of money. Take note that legitimate loans do not require you to pay a sum upfront, which is what scammers tend to request.
5. Learn how to spot scams
Some common scam tactics involve asking you to provide them with a one-time password sent to your phone, paying a fee to redeem your gift and claiming there is a virus in your computer. While these sound convincing, they are oftentimes scams targeted at people who are less technologically savvy.
6. Do not be tempted by advertisements disguised as licensed moneylenders
Money lending advertisements sent through social media and messaging platforms are rampant nowadays but they are mostly from illegal moneylenders who have not been given a license to operate. Sometimes, their websites or advertisements closely resemble those of licensed moneylenders in a bid to confuse people. Therefore, make sure you always check the list of licensed moneylenders in Singapore before committing to one.
The approval of loans and signing of contracts cannot be made through phone calls or texts and have to be done in person. If a moneylender insists that this can be done remotely, there is a high chance that it is a scam.
Consult a debt consultancy in Singapore if you are in debt
Despite these precautions, some people may still become victims of scams due to carelessness. If you are in debt due to being scammed, one of the ways to get out of it is to consult a debt consultancy in Singapore.
Here at Debt Aid, we provide one-to-one consultations to explore the ways you can repay your debts without any judgment. We help you to weigh your options so that you can regain financial freedom in the most suitable and quickest way possible.